It began as an act of social service, to help the ailing with financial aid for treatment. Soon, it morphed into an elaborate scam involving a trio of conmen posing as income tax officials and demanding huge sums of money from a jeweller.

Mambalam police busted the gang which ran a social service initiative and collected large sums of money from people whom they approached with medical reports and photographs of people with medical complications. “The trio would first find out about such case from newspaper advertisements and meet their families. They would promise to help get them the required money for surgery in return for a small commission. They then approached businessmen and representatives of well-known trusts, collected the money and handed it over to the families of the patients after taking 10 per cent of the amount,” said a senior investigating officer.

Once this method began yielding them a regular flow of cash, the group decided to step up their operations by approaching famous jewellery chains in T. Nagar for the money. “The kingpin of the gang had a relative working in the IT department. The gang decided to approach the jewellers as IT officials in order to strengthen its claims,” the officer added.

Two months ago, the kingpin, claiming to be an IT officer, telephoned a representative of OKJ jewellers in T Nagar and sought donations for a patient suffering from a kidney problem. The jeweller gave Rs. 60,000 to one of the culprits who also posed as an IT officer. Recently, the gang approached them again, this time seeking funds for a sports event for the IT department. The jeweller, now suspicious, confronted the gang members who fled the scene.

The jeweller filed a complaint with the Mambalam police who arrested two men — Seshadhri (53) of Nanganallur, a former marketing manager of a well-known firm in Parrys and George (43) of Pudupet. A hunt is on for the kingpin.

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